Call for Submissions for a charity anthology

>> Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Call for Submissions for an anthology highlighting the capabilities and contributions of disabled people in science fiction. This will be a charity anthology with the proceeds and any royalties donated to the Special Olympics. We welcome involvement from disabled authors or those that would be interested in beta reading the final anthology.

Genre: is geared toward science fiction, however, science fantasy, urban fantasy, space opera, other types of fantasy and speculative fiction are  also acceptable as long as we're focused on now or the future instead of ancient history. Other planets and non-human characters are acceptable. Dark fantasy/SF and horror are also acceptable as long as disabled heroes are not turned into victims.

Theme: The main characters must be disabled and succeed through their own efforts and without normalizing (i.e. undoing their disabilities with technology). This book is about celebrating the people who exist today and making them represented in the future.

Age level: should be no racier than PG 13 and YA is not precluded but we will not be targeting a YA or underage audience.

Length: 1500-7500 words

Deadline: All submissions should be received no later than November 30, 2018 with expectation of a February 2019 publication date.

Send submissions to stephanieebarr at Dragonfaeriecreative dot org with the subject "Disabled Heroes"

Format: Word .doc/.docx file, 1" margins, 12-14pt Times (or other serif font), double-spaced, contact info and word count on first page, running header w/name, title, page #, etc. The usual stuff. And please include your name and the story title in the filename. I will accept reprints if you (a) have the rights and (b) it fits our criteria.

Please edit your story carefully. We're all busy indie authors and will not take the time to help you rewrite your work into something that works for us. Please make an effort to send something in finished form that meets the criteria we've set.

Title and cover are not yet finalized.

You can find out more on facebook by joining:


Author confession

>> Friday, July 6, 2018

Author Confession—I was just challenged by my Jeannie JB Richards, to offer contrition, so here goes:

Bless me, Jeannie, for it has been a lifetime since I have confessed my writing sins and hang ups. Please forgive me for...

1) Being an unrepentant pantser that doesn't write up details about the worlds she creates, the plots she devises, or her characters. Yeah, I totally get them, but I never write it down and, when something unexpected comes up, I'll just make it up as a I go. I also write my first draft in nearly final form. If I have a crappy first draft, chances are, I'll never touch it again.

2) Writing YA without reading much of it and not liking most of what I have read. My take on it is different and I wrote to please my daughter rather than following along established trends.

3) Not being a big fan of many established icons of the genres I write in (which doesn't mean they aren't good but that they don't speak to *me*) including Tolkien, Rowlings, Star Wars, Clarke, Asimov (except his real science stuff), while being a fanatic of various icons in all kinds of genres specific to the things that appeal to me. Especially humor.

4) Using cats as plot devices. More than once. Even all the damn time.

> 5) Dragon-human sex. Sorry. 

6) Researching almost nothing except on the fly while I'm writing and getting only what I need to get. Or gathering groups of experts in various fields I hit up so I don't have to become an expert. I probably write fantasy and science fiction (often focused on my own areas of expertise) because I'm lazy.
7) Writing the kind of rhyme/rhythm epic poetry NO ONE reads any more. And not liking any other kind.
8) Being overly critical of (a) incomplete stories in books (story arc left hanging with no completion rather than a chapter in a larger arc) and (b) characters who do things that make no sense (to me). I know they exist, but I don't like reading them. I also struggle with present tense, especially in first person, for no discernible reason.
9) Failing at any kind of self-promotion 'cause I'm not easy get along with.

10) Being inspired by manga not only because it's triggered multiple books but also because it leaves me too little time to read other novels 'cause I'm totally addicted.
Now that you have my #AuthorConfession, it’s time for yours—Author Gibson, Mirren Hogan, Greg Alldredge


Leibster Blog Award - for me!

>> Tuesday, June 26, 2018

So I was nominated by a blogger that actually keeps up better (mea culpa!), a fellow indie writer, J.I. Rogers (who writes dystopian with a quirk if you want to check it out - you should at least check out her blog because it's awesome. What the award appears to be is just a way for people who admire a blog to share the love. Can't help but love that. And, yes, I'll be tagging, too.

So, what do I do when I "win"?

First, I acknowledge the one who nominated me. Thanks, J.I. Rogers!

Then, I answer her eleven questions.

1. What do you feel is the best blog post you’ve written to date and why?

That's a tough one to answer because I have had some great posts, but mostly early on. However, I had a series of three on what it was like to be a genius and the downsides that has inspired more than one character in a book.  You can find part 1, part 2, and sidebar for "Having it Easy Ain't Easy" via these links. These thoughts became Dylan Chroz, for instance. 

2. If you had to choose one of your current projects to tell a group of strangers about, what would it be?

You keep asking me to choose between all of my beloved babies. I would probably talk about my novel that's coming out August 1. I had so much fun with my characters, dabbling with mythology, something I adored growing up, and, of course, playing with dragons is always fun.  That's The Taming of Dracul Morsus.

3. Who in your life (living or dead) provided you with the best inspiration?

There is absolutely no way I could pick one person and say, "Yep, that was the one that got me started or influenced me the most." But, I have to be fair and say that my second husband was a great writing buddy and my discussions with him have had a huge influence on my writing and have really impacted what I write, how I write, and who I write. 
4. What book would you recommend that everyone read?

If I'm depressed, nothing gets me out of it like Georgette Heyer. My all time favorite is These Old Shades, but I recommend The Corinthian the most (and have hooked several men on her).  

5. What is your favorite movie?

Ms. Rogers, I'm totally eclectic. What movies I love depends on my mood. BUT, most of my favorites have at least a modicum of humor in them. Oh well, since someone mentioned it the other day, let's go with Secondhand Lions, which I adored

6. Hypothetical: You’re a well-paid guinea-pig being abandoned on a remote tropical island for an extended period (several years). You have ample food supplies, shelter (even indoor plumbing), electricity, and a decent computer… but the internet is nonexistent, and you will have no human contact. One of the scientists takes pity on you and will leave you an external drive with movies, TV/Netflix series, games, and books on it, but the catch is it can only be one genre. Which genre would you choose?

Anime/manga - yay, something I can answer. I've become obsessed and I have a whole blog devoted to it.
7. Cat, dog, or other?

Cats. I love their independence and purring. They're in all of my books, often with pivotal roles and or telepathic snarkiness.

8. When you’re being creative, do you prefer quiet or some form of sound (music, audiobook…) in the background?

I can't write with music. That's the only time I need quiet. Every other time with any other task, music, audiobooks. whatever, I need the background noise.

9. What can move you more, images or words?

Maybe words, but my love of manga argues I love images, too. And I'm a softy and will get choked up over almost anything. 

10. If you could be assured of accomplishing one thing with your life, what would be your magnum opus?

My kids had happy lives where they were comfortable with who they were and didn't have to suffer. (I'm a dreamer, what can I say?)

11. What is your favorite color?

Purple. No contest. 

Nominate eleven bloggers. Hmm. I've been out of the loop and many of my old favorites have also been letting it slide. Let me see.

Natalie Whipple of Between Fact and Fiction   

Roy of Roy's World
David Kent of multiple blogs like Science Traveler, and White Hot Snow, and the Dake Page
Mary Woldering

GD Deckard and company of Writer's Co-op
AM Ryncroft
Jeannie B Richards

Eric Klein of Feature Friday Futures
Misha Burnett
Jane Jago and E.M. Swift-Hook of Working Title Blogspot
Amy Shannon

UPDATE: Woops, I should have come up with my own questions but I totally forgot, so, just use J.I.Rogers' questions because, despite my complaining, they were pretty good.

 And, hey,  while I have you here, have you preordered the fantastic upcoming book bundle, Rite to Reign for 99 cents. The book Mirren Hogan and I wrote is in there and so many more. You should check it out here!

Come to think of it, have you bought my upcoming book that releases August 1 practically everywhere but here it is on amazon and smashwords? Why the heck not? 


Rite to Reign - You can order it now!

>> Sunday, June 17, 2018

Another release (another book bundle) is on the horizon (You like what I did there?)

've mentioned a couple times that Mirren Hogan and I and I have written a paranormal romance/urban fantasy, involving both witchcraft and royalty, together. But, even bigger than that news is that our books is only one of a 25 novel set, full of witchcraft and royalty, mayhem and mischief. Find all your links here or there's also B&N and Kobo specific links

Still, even among exalted book companions, Mirren and I had to be different...


Granace had survived innumerable European wars by way of witchcraft, but times were changing. Now, tourism and political machinations were the order of the day.
So, David, the Prince of Granace, was forbidden to practice the witchcraft he yearned to pursue, told to leave it to the women in their matriarchal society, and prepare himself to marry for the country's advantage.
But he couldn't, not only because no princess appealed like his best friend, Henry, but also because he was convinced he'd need those skills if his country was going to survive the most diabolical attack…

And hey, here's a blurb:

"I have just want you need." She ran to a large trunk in the back and began rummaging through it throwing this and that out over her shoulder. Some of the items were recognizable but plenty were a mystery. "This!" She trotted back, a carved crystal bottle between her withered hands.
"What is it?"
"Elixir of regeneration. One sip, and your magic will replenish. But only take one. If you take a second one in less than a month, you'll likely explode with the power."
David reached for it. "That will be twenty-five gold. Elixir doesn't come cheap you know."
David scrounged in his pocket and had to fish a few extra pieces from his other pocket. She handed him the bottle with a flourish, then turned her beady little eyes on Henry. "Now, for you."
He took a step back. "I don't know. I think maybe I'm fine after all." He didn't feel like exploding from using something wrong. He could endanger himself perfectly well without help.
"Come, come, the price has already been paid. You need only choose a card."
Henry sighed, but turned his face and tugged a card free. "It better not be the death card." He knew enough about tarot to know it only meant change, not literal death, but he still didn't want to see it.
"Strength," she said, her eyes brightening. "Aren't you the hidden treasure? Well, well." She gripped his hand before he could return the card. "Yes, yes, I feel it. So much strength. You only need the key. The key!" She tossed his hand aside and fetched an ornate jewelry box off the shelf, cackling to herself.
Henry wound a hand in the air near his ear, gesturing to David that he thought maybe she was at least a little bit crazy. They might be too, for listening to her.
"What kind of key?" he asked, not bothering to try to sound like he bought it.
"Well," David whispered to him, "she did know control is one of my weak spots."
"A-ha!" she exulted, swinging a silver chain over her head. "It's here," she said with great portent. "The key."
And there it was, a tiny silver key on a long thick silver chain.
"Well it's a key," Henry replied. "What does it do?" It looked like the kind which opened a child's diary, not a magical artifact of any actual use.
She ignored his reluctance and slipped the chain over his neck. "When the time is right," she said in a whisper with a blast of smoky breath, "it will let you open up the heart of your power."
"How much," said David, fishing the last of the coins from his pocket.
She waved a hand. "You've been such good customers. Call it a bonus."
Henry shrugged. “Thanks, I guess.” It probably wouldn’t do anything anyway. “We should get going.”
David nodded, but thanked the creepy old woman a little too warmly. Then, just before he left, he said, "Hey, do you know unicorns eat? Is it the same as regular horses?"
"Of course not. Unicorns eat shit. They like cow and horse shit, but nothing makes them happier than dragon dung."
"Really?" David said before he was jerked out the front door.
"I think she was full of shit," Henry said, once they were out of earshot. "Who ever heard so much rubbish?"


New Release, Adana the Earth Dragon: An Elemental Tale

>> Saturday, April 14, 2018

I don't often do children's books, but, hey, this is a dragon and Roxy really liked it, so here it goes.

Adana is a small, brown, earth dragon. She longs to play with the other dragons, but none of them will accept her as a friend. One day a giant wanders into the land of the dragons and scares all the other dragons.

Can Adana save the day and prove that even a small brown earth dragon can do big things?
An elemental tale from the author of P.A.W.S. and Esmeralda Grunch and the Red Tulip.
Illustrated by Tina Wijesiri.

"This is a wonderful story that kids will fall in love with. Beautifully written and illustrated. " Cindy Shirley, The Fabulous Life of Minnie the Sassy Chick

Available April 22 from Amazon in paperback, Kindle or Audio book

Signed copies available from Debbie Manber Kupfer


Ideal Insurgent by ME!

>> Monday, March 12, 2018

Have you been looking for that fantastic stand alone science fiction book with enough science to satisfy your inner nerd, enough clever plot twistes and proactive adventure to get both your heart pumping and your mind racing and enough humanity that you feel totally connected to the characters involved?

Hey, folks, I'm here for you. Introducing Ideal Insurgent which comes out on ebook tomorrow and is available now in paperback at both amazon and Barnes and Noble on-line stores. Or you can get a signed copy from me for $14 (list price) sent free anywhere in the US.

Preorder it on amazon, buy it in trade paperback on amazon, preorder it from Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo. Also, the iStore though I can't give you the link.

 Not ready to invest in an unknown author (or maybe you love my writing but aren't so sure about science fiction)? You can get a taste of the various characters here in a free (everywhere but Amazon who makes me charge $.99) collection of short stories. All are prequels so no spoilers. Even if you get the novel, why not get the extras for free?

You can find it for free on Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, iStore (no idea what the link is), Kobo and for a nominal fee from Amazon.


Square Peg in a Round Hole

>> Saturday, February 17, 2018

A few weeks ago, again, I got smacked (again) via FB with the mantra that "a writer writes every day, sits at a desk, pounds it out no matter how hard it hurts or they're lazy and/or liars" screed. Inspiration? Who needs it! Muses? Folly! Writer's block? Sheer laziness! Excuses! Horse manure! Treat it like a job, write even if it's awful or you're not really a writer. You can always fix it in editing and the very act of writing will inspire your writing. (I'm paraphrasing)

That seemed to inspire a few more posts over the next few days of the same theme (I hang with a lot of writers).

I don't write that way. No, I can't write that way. If I sit and force myself to write crap, not only will have such odoriferous crap that can be saved only by blow-torching my computer, my back brain (which does all my best creative writing) will go on vacation for months to teach me a lesson. I know. I've tried. My OCD will tell me I suck as a writer and can't move one step further until I fix (or torch) said writing. My extremely overcrowded list of priorities will go, "You have things that need to be done that are more important than the garbage you're generating." Most importantly, I will hate writing, and hate what I'm writing.

Now, let me stop and say, that this method genuinely works for some people, even some great literary artists. More power to them. More power to whatever method works for you, whether it's locking yourself on a beanbag chair with a tablet computer and a thermos of coffee in your closet to get away from distractions or sitting in your neighborhood cafe with a spiral notebook.

But it doesn't work for me. And I love writing. I write because I love it, knowing it will never make me rich, but I take the thousands of hours I squeeze from my overbooked schedule and devote it to writing because I love writing and love the end result of all that time and sweat and tears. I'm not willing to hate it so I can be a "real" writer. Thanks.

That's aside from the fact that, like most writers, I have a day job. And a family. And things that have to get done that aren't writing related, so I write when I can and, at least in my case, when I'm inspired because that means I'm carving out time in my busy schedule doing something that makes me happy and excited. That will give me a product I love. I will not apologize for it.

I have had dry spells and likely will again, often in times of considerable stress or when overwhelmed in my non-writing world. I have fought my way back every time not because I'm a "professional" but because I love writing.

So, I won't apologize and don't expect anyone to apologize for whatever method works for them. Because, and I feel this strongly, the real criteria to be a "real writer" is your product. And I don't care if you wrote your masterpiece dangling upside down from the ceiling in Grand Central Station or write only for three hours a month under the light of the full moon. No one who produces good writing is anything less than a "real" writer.

In fact, I find pushing to find one's voice to be better advice (though I have one and managed to do everything noted here on my own when I was a kid without a particular plan). Better advice for me, I should say because we are not all the same. The uniqueness of our experiences is why writing is so diverse. Why in the world would we think writers should all be the same but somehow produce unique products?

And (reminding folks that, if the "every day at the desk" method works for you, DO IT), this notion that we have to produce product, so much daily, like a craftsman, should not negate the crazy unpredictable flurry of insane activity of the occasional artist. I absolutely agree that craftsman tend to be paid better and more consistently. But we remember the artists centuries later.

One last note. Many of us labeled as "lazy" are working in non-visible ways. And it shows in our end products. Much like this.



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